Headlines for Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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Tenn. Chrysler store wins dismissal of suit for 'finance' fraud

A federal judge has thrown out a suit accusing a Johnson City, Tenn., dealership of fraud and false advertising for a TV spot that offered to help customers who have “bad credit, slow credit or no credit” and stated, “Our goal is 100% financing.” Read More »

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U.S. car and light-truck inventories, on May 1

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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U.S. Fleet Sales, April & YTD

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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Canada light-vehicle sales by nameplate, April & YTD

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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Canada light-vehicle sales by make, April & YTD

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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Gannett mulls bid for all of Cars.com, report says

Gannett, one of the newspaper owners of Cars.com, is exploring a bid for all of the auto sales website. It has discussed teaming up with private equity firms in a deal that could reach $3 billion, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Read More »

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Tesla posts Q1 net loss of $49.8 million

Despite record production of 7,535 Model S electric vehicles, Tesla Motors posted a $49.8 million net loss in the first quarter while revenue rose to $620 million. Read More »

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GM hires former PR head Harris to help with recall crisis

General Motors, working to contain a crisis over the recall of cars with faulty ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths, hired Steve Harris, its former public relations head, as a consultant. Read More »

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Ford to buy back $1.8 billion in stock

Ford Motor said it will repurchase $1.8 billion of its shares to reduce dilution from recent stock grants to executives and to offset shares that may be issued to holders of convertible debt. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Moments with Marchionne

Fiat Chrysler CEO talks aluminum, minivan names and making the grade; BMW's solar carport; McLaren honors racing legend. Read More »

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PSA names new chiefs for Citroen and DS brands

Citroen's UK chief, Linda Jackson, will replace Frederic Banzet as the brand's CEO while strategy director Yves Bonnefont, who is Citroen's deputy head, will lead the upscale DS line as it becomes a stand-alone unit. Read More »

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Daimler resumes production at Mercedes plant in Hungary after bomb threat

Daimler has resumed production at its Mercedes plant in Hungary after a bomb threat on Wednesday. The plant produced more than 100,000 vehicles in 2013 including the Mercedes CLA. Read More »

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Nissan's next EVs: More mainstream, better battery

Nissan wants its next-generation Leaf electric vehicle to get more mainstream styling and a new battery that greatly increases its range. And Infiniti's delayed electric car will debut with the improved battery by early 2017. Read More »

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First Shift: Marchionne to 'stay the plan'

CEO to remain at Fiat Chrysler through at least '18; Report: GM recall case sparks probe of a probe; Tesla move lauded. Read More »

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Fiat stock tumbles as investors question Marchionne's plan

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has an ambitious five-year plan to more than double profit and increase annual deliveries 61 percent. So far, investors aren't buying it. Read More »

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Fiat targets doubling profit by 2018 on upscale models

Fiat Chrysler plans to transform Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Jeep into global brands and more than double profit in the next five years. CEO Sergio Marchionne's goals also include boosting yearly deliveries for the group to 7 million in 2018. Read More »

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U-M to build 'simulated urban environment' to test connected cars

The University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center, along with key partners from a variety of industries, will begin construction of a $6.4 million “simulated urban environment” for testing of connected and automated vehicles, the university said Tuesday. Read More »

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NHTSA won't urge GM drivers to park recalled cars

Federal safety regulators have refused a request from two senators to encourage owners of cars affected by General Motors' ignition switch recall to ground their cars until they can be repaired. Read More »

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Fiat stock tumbles as investors question Marchionne's plan

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has an ambitious five-year plan to more than double profit and increase annual deliveries 61 percent. So far, investors aren't buying it. Read More »

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LUCA CIFERRI:

Marchionne asks for 3 more years of patience

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne's new five-year plan for the automaker won't start rewarding shareholders until 2017 at the earliest. Some wonder if there will ever be a payout. Read More »

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FIAT CHRYSLER 5-YEAR PLAN:

Fiat Chrysler will need more cash to reach targets, analysts say

Fiat Chrysler will have trouble achieving ambitious targets set by CEO Sergio Marchionne's new strategic plan, say analysts, who believe the automaker will need to raise more money for the plan to succeed. Read More »

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GUEST COMMENTARY: RALPH NADER:

For a new GM culture, pinpoint responsibility

For more than 10 years, scores of GM engineers, inspectors and other employees engaged in a deadly cover-up over an easily fixable ignition-switch defect. An estimated 13 to 300 people lost their lives when their car suddenly shut off, disabling their power brakes and airbags. Read More »

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Ally boosts used-car loans, diversifies business

Ally Financial Inc. is doing more leasing, more used-vehicle loans and more loans to dealerships with brands other than those of General Motors and Chrysler, all in line with a strategy it previously laid out. Read More »

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Q&A:

How one Texas dealer harnesses scanners to thwart ID theft

Benny Boyd Auto Group in Texas is using scanners to detect fake IDs after the company lost four cars obtained through identity theft a couple of years ago. The scanners also tie in with the dealership's customer relationship management system, enabling F&I managers to mine the customer data. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Dealer reserve is here to stay … right?

Auto lenders are sticking to dealer reserve despite the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's crackdown and despite BMO Harris Bank's recent switch to a flat fee. Read More »

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LUCA CIFERRI:

Marchionne asks for 3 more years of patience

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne's new five-year plan for the automaker won't start rewarding shareholders until 2017 at the earliest. Some wonder if there will ever be a payout. Read More »

F&I TIP:

Never use 'best' to describe finance rate

Promising a customer the “best” rate is one of the “seven deadly sins of F&I,” says Dave Robertson, executive director of the Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals. Read More »

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RICHARD TRUETT:

Sergio's open playbook

Fiat Chrysler executives did something highly unusual Tuesday: They revealed key pillars of the company's product plans, financial goals and sales targets for the next five years. Most automakers keep their playbooks secret for as long as possible. Read More »

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Tesla should ditch carmaking business for batteries, bond manager says

Jeffrey Gundlach has some advice for billionaire Elon Musk: Get out of the car business. Read More »

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UK new-car sales rise 8% in April

Demand for new cars in the UK slowed last month after hitting a 10-year high in March, but deliveries still rose 8 percent, the 26th consecutive month of growth in the market. Read More »

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Schaeffler refinances 3.5 billion euros of debt

German supplier Schaeffler has refinanced about 3.5 billion euros ($4.9 billion) worth of debt, including new bond issues of about 2 billion euros, as borrowing costs approach record lows in Europe. Read More »

Outsmart the fake pay stub

Missing pay stubs are pitfalls for finance and insurance managers. Finance managers don’t want to ask a potential customer to go home and get a couple of pay stubs to verify his or her income. That customer may not come back. Even worse is the customer with a fake pay stub. Read More »

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